• HEE spent six times more on compulsory redundancies this year compared to last year
  • Chief executive Ian Cumming moved into a higher salary band
  • £11.6m was spent on voluntary redundancies in 2016-17

Health Education England spent almost £17m on staff redundancies over the past two years as its chief executive saw his pay and bonus increase.

The arm’s length body spent £1.4m on compulsory redundancies in 2017-18, six times what was spent the previous year, according to its annual report and accounts.

However, the amount spent on voluntary redundancies has reduced since the £11.6m spent in 2016-17 – as last year HEE paid out £3.6m to staff wanting to accept redundancy.

In total, it has spent around £17m on redundancy payments over the last two financial years.

The £5bn national training body launched a voluntary redundancy programme last year after changes by former chancellor George Osborne in 2015 which reorganised NHS budgets to exclude bodies such as HEE. This meant it had to find savings of £70m in 2016-17.

The annual report and accounts also revealed changes in salary and employment of HEE’s senior directors.

Chief executive Ian Cumming saw his pay increase from between a banding of £195,000 to £200,000 in 2016-17 to between £200,000 and £205,000 in 2017-18.

He also saw an increase in bonus pay from a banding of £5,000 to £10,000 in 2016-17 to a banding of £10,000 to £15,000 in 2017-18.

Mr Cumming opted out of the NHS pension scheme in March 2017.

Nicki Latham, director of performance and development, took voluntary redundancy in November 2017, which saw her total remuneration reach £240,000. This included salary between April and November and her redundancy pay.

Chief nurse Lisa Bayliss-Pratt saw her minimum pay increase by £10,000 per year moving from a banding of £115,000 to £120,000 in 2016-17 to £130,000 to £135,000 in 2017-18. The report highlighted that this followed her taking on an additional role of a regional director in September.

The highest number of compulsory redundancies taken this year were found amongst staff with an exit package worth between £50,000 and £100,000, which was taken by 13 members of staff followed by 11 people leaving with a package of between £10,000 and £25,000. 

According to HEE’s annual report and accounts, the organisation “sought efficiencies” in areas of clinical training, which included reductions in education support, workforce development and running costs.

Workforce development saw a significant reduction in expenditure between 2016 and 2018, falling from £113m to £78m.

HEE stressed it’s reorganisation was successful and would help it meet reduced spending targets in 2018-19.

In a statement a spokeswoman said: ”There have been 395 redundancies across HEE during the past two years and the vast majority, 90 per cent, were delivered on a voluntary basis under a scheme developed and agreed with our recognised trade unions.

“HEE was required to make a 20 per cent reduction in our ongoing running costs and nearly 30 per cent in education support costs, which were achieved ahead of the 2020 deadline set by the November 2015 comprehensive spending review.”

She added: ”All HEE directors are paid in line with the established pay framework for senior staff developed by the DHSC, for the NHS ALBs.”